March 14, 2019
Arrival at Caribbean Headquarters in Smith Bay, St. Thomas
From the Superintendent's DESK
Debbie and I are on the Island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After uneventful red-eye flights, we arrived early Tuesday afternoon, March 12, along with Tim DeBusk, Director of Caribbean Work, and his wife, Lisa. We were greeted by Michael Anthony, the Eastern Caribbean District Superintendent, with his wife, Monica, and enjoyed dinner together.
The next day, we were joined by Deivys Pichardo, the newly appointed Dominican Republic District Superintendent, and were able to tour the Eastern Caribbean headquarters church in Smith Bay. It is a beautiful and spacious building, dedicated in November 2014 after twenty years of construction, which was halted intermittently due to financial constraints and natural disasters.
While traveling the island, we have seen evidence of the two most recent natural disasters, category-five hurricanes Irma and Maria. The former hit in September 2017 with winds of up to 185 miles per hour, and tore off thousands of rooftops. The latter followed two weeks later with less wind, but dumped a foot of rain. Though the majority of the damage to the island has been repaired, many residents abandoned their homes at the time and have not returned.
On Wednesday evening, we enjoyed a service at the Smith Bay church. It began with a choir prelude followed by congregational singing. Then there were testimonies from several of the locals as well as our four team members. The choir sang again, and then since there was no interpreter, Brother Deivys, whose native language is Spanish, preached in English, and he did a great job!
We are now anticipating the rededication and twenty-fifth anniversary service of our Road Town, Tortola church, scheduled for Friday, March 15.